- Neighborhood: Center City, Rittenhouse Square
- 1901 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
- Phone: 215-454-6529
- Website | Facebook | Twitter
- Cuisine: New American
- Alcohol: Full Bar
- Meals Served: Dinner
- Price: $$$
- Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
We are now a little over a week into Center City Sips. The drinks ($3 beer, $4 wine and $5 cocktails) are flowing and when the threat of unyielding downpour subsides, the weather should be great.
The true beauty of this event though is not just the drinks, but the endless half-price appetizers to soak it all up. While it is easy to find snacks to accompany the booze, it can be hard to track down the places with great appetizers. Nachos, mozzarella sticks, and wings are a dime a dozen during Center City Sips. It takes time and dedication to weed out the duds.
We’ve helped you out by narrowing down the list of a few places that are going to give you more than a warm plate of mozzarella sticks for your hard earned dollars.
We have a wall at the office entirely given over to a Post-It Note snapshot of everything happening in the Philly restaurant world at this given moment. Hundreds of yellow squares, on which are written the names of restaurants, initials, arrows and mysterious heiroglyphs that only Art and I (and mostly I) can understand.
The Post-Its move. Get grouped, get broken up. The restaurants we love and the restaurants we hate are all represented (in wildly unequal numbers). Restaurants that are coming–addresses chosen, opening dates optimistically scheduled–have their own space, as do established and open restaurants whose reviews are in the works. Lately, that particular section of wall has been growing crowded. There are just so many goddamn restaurants coming (it’s spring, that happens) that it feels overwhelming.
So with six months of (mostly) weekly reviews behind me, and dozens of new openings incoming, I figured this might be a good time to look back and highlight the best moments of the past six months–places that you might’ve missed, places that you really ought to get to (if you haven’t already) before the lure of new-new restaurants becomes too overpowering.
So let’s start with…
Over the last several weeks, Jennifer Sabatino has been overhauling the liquor stock at Aldine. The former bar manager of Stateside (which specialized in American spirits), is remaking the liquor selection at Aldine to be all-local. Sabatino has more than twenty local spirits behind the second floor bar now and is working on overhauling the cocktails to take advantage of the recent explosion in Pennsylvania and New Jersey spirits.
During a visit yesterday, Sabatino was particularly “fired up” (in the parlance of her husband, chef George Sabatino) about Bluebird Distilling’s Juniperus Gin (Phoenixville), an aromatic spirit first distilled from rye. She also had nothing but praise for Manatawny Still Works’ small batch #7 whiskey (Pottstown). Despite its young age, the cask strength whiskey didn’t come across as harsh or burning.